Voices of Poetry at Hunt Hill Farm – Comfort and Joy!

The Silo will present “Voices of Poetry / Comfort & Joy” on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. This afternoon of original poetry and music – to celebrate the holiday season – will be held at The Red Barn at Hunt Hill Farm, Crossman Road, New Milford, CT. A “meet and greet” reception with the poets & musicians – with holiday desserts – will follow the program.

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The Silo will present “Voices of Poetry / Comfort & Joy” on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. This afternoon of original poetry and music – to celebrate the holiday season – will be held at The Red Barn at Hunt Hill Farm, Crossman Road, New Milford, CT. A “meet and greet” reception with the poets & musicians – with holiday desserts – will follow the program.

There is an admission charge of $15 @ person for this program; and reservations are encouraged. For more information, and to reserve tickets, please call (860) 355-0300, visit www.hunthillfarmtrust.org, or e-mail info@hunthillfarmtrust.org. Reservations can also be made at The Silo during regular business hours. The Silo Gallery and Store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.

For more holiday event information www.litchfieldhills.com

About The Silo

Drawing on the creative legacy of Skitch and Ruth Henderson, the Henderson Cultural Center at Hunt Hill Farm, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, is a vibrant and unique regional resource, offering the public opportunities to explore music, art, cuisine, and permanently protected historic open space.

About Voices of Poetry (VOP)

VOP was founded by poet and poetry activist Neil Silberblatt. Since 2012, VOP has presented a series of poetry and music events featuring distinguished poets and writers at venues throughout the state, including The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield; The New Britain Museum of American Art; The Sherman Playhouse; Minor Memorial Library in Roxbury; Gunn Memorial Library in Washington; Ridgefield Library; Hopkins Vineyard; and Hartford Public Library. VOP also has presented poetry events to raise support for community organizations. Voices of Poetry / Thanks for the Giving events (in 2013 and 2014) raised more than $2,500 for Loaves & Fishes, New Milford’s community soup kitchen and food pantry. VOP hosts a Facebook “group” page which (at last count) had more than 1,900 members, including numerous poets and writers, editors, publishers, composers, musicians in all genres, professors, and fans of the printed, written or sung word.

Holiday House Tours in Connecticut

It happens only once a year. For the first two weeks in December, some of the finest private homes in Fairfield County and the Litchfield Hills will invite visitors in for one-day only during house tours to benefit local organizations. Tours in the towns of Woodbury, Westport and Greenwich will offer a rare chance to see exceptional residences dressed in their holiday best.

A 20th ANNIVERSARY IN WOODBURY

One of the most popular tours will mark its 20th anniversary when the Woodbury Holiday House Tour takes place on December 13 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Litchfield Hills to benefit the Woman’s Club of Woodbury. On the day of the tour, tickets will be available for $30 starting at 9 a.m. at the Senior and Community Center, 265 Main Street South.

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Six special homes chosen for this landmark year range from a 14-year-old contemporary with a fabulous kitchen to an antique-filled 250 year-old home including an artist’s studio. A restored 200-year-old schoolhouse will be seen on the spacious grounds of an elegant Colonial reproduction home, and a handsome mid-20th century Colonial features the studio of its sculptor-owner. See a complete list and details at www.womansclubofwoodbury.org

“ROOMS WITH A VIEW” IN WESTPORT

Interior designers, artists and architects are the owners of this year’s five homes in the annual Westport House Tour on December 7 to benefit the Westport Historical Society They include a Nantucket-style cottage at Compo Beach with a roof-top deck overlooking the water, and a hilltop chateau with sweeping vistas. Three of the houses are owned by interior designers, providing the chance to see how professionals decorate for the Christmas and Hanukkah seasons. A pianist will play at one of the homes, and several will be serving hot cider, hot chocolate, and holiday sweets.

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Following the tour a Twilight Soiree hosted by the Lillian August Store in Norwalk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will feature wine, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction for prizes such as an America’s Cup Cruise, getaways to a Cape Cod vacation home and a mountain ski house, and a painting by Weston artist Kerri Rosenthal, whose home and studio are part of the tour. For more information, see http://westporthistory.org.

SHOWPLACES OPEN DOORS IN GREENWICH

One tour that always attracts visitors is The Antiquarius House Tour in Greenwich, a Fairfield County town known for its lavish residences. This year’s tour on Wednesday, December 10 will showcase five spectacular homes ranging in location from the shores of Long Island Sound to estates in the wooded backcountry. What all have in common is their always-spectacular holiday finery.

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The tour is part of a weeklong Antiquarius event to benefit the Greenwich Historical Society that includes the annual Greenwich Winter Antiques Show on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7 at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center. For full schedules, see http://www.hstg.org/antiquarius.

For more information about house tours and a free copy of Unwind, a full-color, 152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in the Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitwesternct.com.

Washington’s Festival of Trees & Lights

Washington’s Gunn Memorial Library and Museum invites you to start a new tradition this holiday season! Fun for all ages, Gunn Memorial’s annual Festival of Trees & Lights cocktail party will take place in the historic Wykeham Room on Friday, December 5, from 5 to 7pm.

This event features creatively-decorated holiday trees, wreaths and stockings, as well as one-of-a-kind ornaments by local artists, which will be sold by silent auction to benefit the Gunn Memorial Library & Museum. Peruse the festive hall while sampling wine and hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurants.

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The Library’s tree will be decked with Treasure Pouches, each containing a slip of paper bestowing a mystery gift. Attendees may purchase a pouch and claim an item or service that has been donated by a local business including gift baskets, theater tickets, edibles, gift certificates and more.
The suggested donation for the Friday evening cocktail party is $15 per person or $25 per couple. The tree display will be open for viewing at no charge on Saturday, December 6, from 10am-2pm.

Items not sold at the cocktail party on Friday evening will be available for purchase on Saturday. For further information call (860) 868-7586 or email gunndevelopment@biblio.org.

Tickets are available in advance at the circulation desk, or guests may pay at the door the night of the event. The Gunn Memorial Library is located at 5 Wykeham Road at the juncture of Route 47 opposite the Green in Washington, CT. For more information and for library hours visit www.gunnlibrary.org.

For information on holiday events in Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

November Fun Naturally at White Memorial Foundation

White Memorial Foundation located just off Rte. 202 on Whites Wood Road in Litchfield has planned a fun filled November for nature lovers.

photo credit: White Memorial
photo credit: White Memorial

On November 5 take a brisk walk with Gerri Griswold then relax with a super healthy meal. The objective is to share recipes, learn how to use herbs and spices to create wonderfully delicious meals that will keep you focused on your goal and to use this beautiful property to help you become the very best you can be. As for the featured dish of the night it is a Hearty Vegetarian Chili, Mesclun Greens with Oranges, Avocado, and Toasted Almonds, and Fresh Fruit. Make sure you dress for the weather and pack a flashlight! And, don’t forget to bring your own place setting! This event starts at 6:00 P.M., at the A.B. Ceder Room, Members: $15.00 Non-members: $25.00. Limited to 20 people! Pre-registration and prepayment are required.

On November 8, stop by Point Folly on the grounds of the Foundation anytime between 9 am and 12 pm to do some birdwatching with the new Education Director Carrie Szwed and don’t forget your binoculars to spot winter migrants and arrivals at this free event.

On November 15, get your paintbrush ready for a class with world renowned botanical artist Betsy Rogers-Knox! This is a great opportunity to learn techniques of botanical illustration from a pro. The class is for all levels of experience. All supplies are included. Ages 12 and up. 1:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., A. B. Ceder Room, Members: $35.00 Non-members: $45.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

If you give a “Hoot” then the felting workshop with Robin McCahill should be on your calendar for November 22 from 10 am – 4 pm. This is a perfect opportunity to create a handmade gift for a loved one (or to keep yourself!). Using soft wool and a special barbed felting needle, sculpt a night time owl of your choice. This one day workshop will enable you to finish your bird in time to adorn your home for the holidays. Learn some of the nocturnal habits of the famed owls while you work. All materials included! Members: $55.00, Non-members: $65.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

On November 23, there will be an afternoon Green Man Concert with with Michael McDermott and Friends Benefit Concert Supporting The White Memorial Conservation Center. he Green Man is a mysterious, eerie figure depicted mainly in medieval European stonework, believed to represent an ancient vegetation deity. It is nearly always depicted as a “foliate head,” that is, a face made of leaves and vines. Sometimes it appears as a human face peering out from leaves, other times with animal features. This joyful afternoon with ridiculously talented purveyor of joy, Michael McDermott and his band “Cead Mile Failte” Gaelic for “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes”, will include music by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Irish singer / songwriter Luka Bloom, and many more. What a splendid way to spend the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving! 100% of the proceeds from this concert benefit the Conservation Center. 2:00 P.M., Carriage House, Members: $15.00 Non-members: $20.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

To finish the month, on November 29, take a walk with Gerri Griswold along the Cranberry Pond Trail and cap off the walk with a cup of hot coffee and a thick wedge of Crimson Pie swimming in a pool of thick ginger crème anglaise! Meet in the Museum. 2:00 P.M., We’ll drive over to the trail head together. FREE…Donations will be accepted to help defray the Conservation Center’s programming expenses.

For more information about White Memorial Foundation visit http://www.whitememorialcc.org. For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

7th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour

The 7th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour, with a special World War One theme, will take place on Friday, October 24from 6:30-8:30pm.

Costumed guides will lead groups of visitors every ten minutes from the Gunn Museum to the Washington Green Cemetery where the town’s departed citizens will be stationed at their gravestones to tell their tales of tragedy and triumph.

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Tour groups will follow a magical path of 1,000 luminaries spanning a quarter mile through the shadowy cemetery and hear the lively and dramatic stories of Washington’s residents from World War One. The costumed character actors stationed at each gravestone will share such stories as the perilous tales of combat in Europe; the life of a soldier stationed in muddy rat infested trenches; women will describe what the fascinating experiences they had as nurses and YMCA workers; summer residents from New York City will talk about how they joined forces with the locals to form war relief organizations such as the Sister Susie Society on the home front; and so much more.

The tours depart from the Museum in groups of fifteen people every 10 minutes between 6:30-8:30 pm, and last approximately 45 minutes. Numbers for the tours are handed out at the Museum starting at 6:15pm. A Halloween themed movie will be shown and treats will be served in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library as you wait for your tour group to depart. The Museum will also be open for viewing of the exhibit, Over There: Washington and the Great War. The cemetery is dark and cold, please bring a flashlight with you and dress warmly.

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While this event is free, donations are always appreciated. The rain date is Sunday October 26. The Gunn Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, at the intersection of Wykeham Road and Route 47, on Washington Green, Connecticut. Parking at the Gunn is limited, please use nearby lots and side streets. Call 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org for information.

For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Pastoral Solitudes and Landscape Paintings at the Gregory James Gallery

November 4th. All of the paintings were produced over the past two years and reflect the farms and untouched landscapes of Connecticut’s Northwest Corner. A few marine paintings were inspired by scenes near Adkins’ home in Maine, where as a boy, he spent summer vacations with his family.

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Most of his paintings are derived from small sketches made on location, which Adkins refers to later in the studio, making subtle changes in color and light to evoke a mood, the season or time of day.

The green and gold fields of “Northern Farm Early Spring” draw the eye up to an aging grey barn illuminated by sunlight peeking over the hills beyond the farm. The last remnants of snow are visible on hilltops and the bare branches of trees stretch toward a pale sky tinged with purple. The interplay of light and shadow hint at a scene captured just before sunset, or perhaps slightly after sunrise.

The change of season is evident in “Fall Diagonal Light Kent,” which features a pair of barns, bookends to a white farmhouse, tucked beneath leafy green trees tinged with orange. The last slanting rays of sun fall over the scene from beyond the frame of the painting as thick clouds move in from the opposite side.

Looking at “Lake Waramaug Summer,” the viewer seems to be perched on the path, in the same spot Adkins set up his easel, pausing to take in the view of the lake and green the hills sloping down to its edges. There is a small farm tucked into the hillside, yet there is a sense that the viewer is able to take in this tranquil scene alone. Adkins calls it “a snapshot of the moment. You get a true sense of the atmosphere and the feeling for the place.”

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A graduate of Paier College of Art of New Haven, Adkins completed graduate classes at the School of Visual Arts of New York. He has worked as art director and creative director for some of the most prestigious advertising agencies in Connecticut and New York.

As a contemporary painter, Adkins’ style and technique has developed from early influences by Impressionistic painters of light on nature, such as Monet, Pissaro, Willard Metcalf. Adkins’ work is featured in private collections throughout the United States and abroad. His paintings have been shown in galleries and exhibitions in Connecticut and New England, including the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Butler Institute Of American, Old Lyme Association, Gregory James Gallery, Greene Art Gallery and at Bayview Gallery in Brunswick, Me. A member of the Connecticut Plein Air Painters Society and the Association of Oil Painters of America, he participated in the prestigious International Marine Art Exhibition at The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport. In 2014, he will be one of a select few award-winning artists from seven countries selected to participate in the 35th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition at Mystic Seaport.

The Gregory James Gallery is located at 93 Park Lane Road (Route 202) in New Milford, about 100 feet from the intersection of Route 109. For more information, please call (860) 354-3436 or visit gregoryjamesgallery.com.